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Three Out of Four Christians Now Believe in the Prosperity Gospel

Three Out of Four Christians Now Believe in the Prosperity Gospel

A rising number of Christians are leaning into prosperity gospel theology.

A new study from Lifeway Research reveals that 76 percent of Christians now believe God wants them to prosper financially. That number rises among younger generations, with 81 percent of churchgoers between the ages of 18 to 34 and 85 percent of churchgoers 35-49 holding onto that belief.

Additionally, 52 percent of American Christians believe their church encourages them to give more money to church and charities so God will bless them. In 2017, only 38 percent agreed with that statement.

Meanwhile, about 45 percent said they believe they have to do something in order to receive “material blessings” from God.

“In the last five years, far more churchgoers are reflecting prosperity gospel teachings, including the heretical belief that material blessings are earned from God,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “It is possible the financial hits people have taken from inflation and the pandemic have triggered feelings of guilt for not serving God more. But Scripture does not teach that kind of direct connection.”

Prosperity gospel beliefs have been present in many denominations for decades, but the last five years have shown a major increase among churchgoers. Lifeway did not provide any reasons for their growing trend, although rising inflation and the changing socio-economic status of many Americans seems to be a contributing factor.

McConnell warns against the growing prosperity gospel trend, arguing that it is simply not biblical.

“Pursuing holiness was never designed by God to be a plan for financial riches,” McConnell said. “The size of one’s finances is not the measure of anyone’s service to God nor relationship with Him. This research does not rule out the possibility that biblical teachings were poorly heard by more young adults, but they definitely have experienced a lack of clear biblical teaching on the reason for generosity.”

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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